CATS, CATS, CATS! | Westport Column

CATS, CATS, CATS! Sometimes I feel like a cat lady when I sit down to write this column. There’s always something in the in-box from the folks at Champlain Area Trails. Writing contests, photo contests, raffles, volunteer work projects…all cute and irresistible, just like kittens. And before you know it, your house is full of CATS!

This time it’s a work project this Saturday, Jan. 18, to make yet another trail in the woods, the Field and Forest Trail, which will go from the Bobcat Trail to Whallonsburg. Volunteers are asked to meet at 12:30 p.m. at the Bobcat Trail trailhead at the end of Ferris Road (which meets Route 22 a couple of miles north of Wadhams, opposite Merriam Forge Road). As always, bring gloves, loppers, and a handsaw.

So where exactly is this so-called Bobcat Trail? And why would anyone want to get to Whallonsburg from there? I decided to visit the CATS web site, champlainareatrails.com, for some answers.

First question: how many CATS trails are we talking about? I figured, probably 5 or 6, or possibly as many as 10, tops. So I clicked on the pdf for a comprehensive map of all the trails in the CATS system. It showed (you might want to sit down) not 5 or 6 or even 10 trails but 39 trails, from Moose Pond and the Champlain Bridge in the south to Rattlesnake Mountain and Poke-O-Moonshine in the north. Not only that, but the map also included restaurants, shopping, gas stations and convenience stores, and camp sites.

Turns out, this is the best map I’ve seen of the area where we all live—our community. And I guess that answers my question about why another trail, and why Whallonsburg. What emerges from looking at this map is a network of trails that connects our communities into one larger community—Willsboro, Essex, Whallonsburg, Wadhams, Elizabethtown, Moriah, Crown Point, and beyond. Which, come to think of it, is exactly what CATS has always said they’re all about.

Next week: the upcoming Piano By Nature recital at the Hand House in E’town, featuring Réne Lecuona, on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.

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